Monday, September 13, 2010

Igor Could Become a Cat 5 Storm!


Hurricane Igor continues to strengthen as he moves across the Atlantic. It now appears Igor could become a rare category 5 hurricane later today as top winds could peak above 160 mph. The high resolution visible satellite image above shows Igor having a well defined eye with bright white clouds surrounding the center of the storm. This indicates Igor’s eye is surrounded by very tall thunderstorms or deep convection as we like to say in the weather world. The image below gives us an enhanced look by adding colors to the cloud tops. The colder temperatures are indicated by the orange and red colors. Notice the red nearly making a circle around the eye indicated very tall clouds and a healthy eye wall.

So where will Igor go? Thankfully for the United States Atlantic Coast it appears a blocking high pressure will keep Igor out to sea. Most computer models send Igor and the weaker storm to follow Julia out in the central Atlantic. However, we will need to monitor the stronger high that is located southwest of Great Britain. There are a few models that weaken the High over the U.S. and strengthen the high over the eastern Atlantic. If this does happen Igor could be pushed to the west towards the New England coast. In the aforementioned scenario, Igor could make landfall near New York City as a category 2 or 3 storm but at this time this seems highly unlikely.

We are monitoring another area of disturbed weather south of Cuba. This tropical disturbance could become a depression over the next couple of days. Right now it appears this system will move west and hit the Yucat√°n Peninsula continuing west into Central Mexico. This last system has the best chance of any to make it to the U.S. Mainland so we will continue to watch it closely.